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Sarah E. Blackwell

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My areas of interest include pragmatics and semantics, discourse analysis, cognitive and functional linguistics, discourse reference and anaphora, discourse connectives/markers, and pragmatic variation in Spanish and English. My research has focused on the pragmatic and cognitive motivations influencing native Spanish speakers' and L2 Spanish learners' use of referring expressions (NPs, pronouns, null subjects), the influence of cognitive and interactional frames on spoken discourse, and the use of discourse connectives and markers in Spanish and English. I was Special Issues Editor of the Journal of Pragmatics from 2003-2008 and currently serve on the editorial board of the journal.



Ph.D., Hispanic Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh                 

M.A., Spanish, Middlebury College, The Spanish School, Madrid

B.S., Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University

Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain

Specific Research Areas:

Pragmatics, Semantics, Discourse analysis, Cognitive and functional linguistics, Hispanic linguistics

Selected Publications:


  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2003. Implicatures in Discourse: The Case of Spanish NP Anaphora. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Recent Peer Reviewed Research Articles:

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2022. “Epistemic causality in Spanish narratives as evidence of knowledge frames.” Contexts of Co-Constructed Discourse: Interaction, Pragmatics, and Second Language Applications, Lori Czerwionka, Rachel Showstack, and Judith Liskin-Gasparro (eds.), 136-159. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge. 
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2018. "Frames of reference and antecedentless anaphora in Spanish conversation." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 47, 283-305..
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. and Margaret Lubbers Quesada. 2016. “Semantic and pragmatic causal relations in native speaker and L2 learner discourse: The uses of the connective porque in four narrative tasks.” Pragmatics & Language Learning, 37-64.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2016. “Porque in Spanish oral narratives: Semantic porque, (meta)pragmatic porque or both?” Interdisciplinary Studies in Pragmatics, Culture and Society, Alessandro Capone and Jacob L. Mey (eds.), 615-651. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. and Margaret Lubbers Quesada. 2012. “Third-person subjects in native speakers’ and L2 learners’ narratives: Testing (and revising) the Givenness Hierarchy for Spanish.” Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Kimberly Geeslin and Manuel Díaz-Campos (eds.), 142-164. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2010. “Evaluation as a pragmatic act in Spanish film narratives.” Journal of Pragmatics 42, 2945-2963.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2009. “What’s in a pear film narrative? Framing and the power of expectation in Spanish.” Spanish in Context 6.2, 249-299.
  • Quesada, Margaret Lubbers and Sarah E. Blackwell. 2009. “The L2 acquisition of null and overt Spanish subject pronouns: A pragmatic approach.” Selected Proceedings of the 11th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Joseph Collentine, Barbara Lafford, and Maryellen García (eds.), 117-130. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters and Edited Volumes

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2021. "Implicature and Spanish speaker's meaning." The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Pragmatics, Dale A. Koike and J. César Félix-Brasdefer (eds.), 15-36. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2016. “Implicatura y presuposición”. Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica, Javier Gutiérrez Rexach (ed.), 632-649. London/New York: Routledge.
  • Howe, Chad, Sarah E. Blackwell, and Margaret Lubbers Quesada (eds.). 2013. Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 342 pp.
  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2012. “Semántica y pragmática: El significado de las palabras vs. el significado del hablante” (Capítulo 1). Modelos y fundamentos de la pragmática y sociolingüística hispánica, Susana de los Heros and Mercedes Niño-Murcia (eds.), 3-28. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

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